ECONOMYNEXT – The Sri Lanka rupee weakened in early trading against the US dollar on Thursday as stocks gained 0.33 percent on interest in banking stocks, brokers and dealers said.
The rupee was quoted at 159.40/46 rupees against the US dollar in early trading on import demand in the spot market, dealers said.
Trading was picking up after dealers were cautious earlier in the week when the Central Bank slapped a one month trading ban on a money broker for breaching forex trading rules, dealers said.
The US dollar closed at 159.25/35 rupees on Wednesday on broader two-way quotes but otherwise steady compared to the previous day’s closing of 159.30/35 rupees.
In equities, the Colombo All Share index was up 0.33 percent in early trading Thursday, gaining 20.03 points to 6,112.68, and the S&P SL20 of more liquid stocks gained 0.41 percent, up 13.74 points to 3,332.14.
Turnover had reached 185.8 million rupees within the first half-hour of trading, compared to Wednesday’s closing turnover of 461.58 million rupees, up from Tuesday’s 142.69 million rupees.
Commercial Bank gained 2.10 rupees in early trading to 129 rupees and DFCC Bank gained 1.50 rupees to 104.50 rupees.
John Keells Holdings was unchanged at 142 rupees.
Janashakthi Insurance was up 60 cents to 22.50 rupees, and Chevron Lubricants Lanka was down 60 cents to 77.70 rupees.
Stocks had gained 0.25 percent on Wednesday with the All Share gaining 15.28 points to 6,092.65, and the S&P SL20 gaining 0.39 percent, up 12.81 points to 3,318.40.
Foreigners were net sellers on Wednesday at 79.8 million rupees. (COLOMBO, 12 July 2018)